Reflecting its growth and global presence across a wide range of market sectors, and its emphasis on integrated architecture and interior design, CetraRuddy has announced the promotion of six key architects and designers. Each has played an important part in the firm’s design excellence and expertise in project delivery.
Thomas Graul, AIA has been named an associate principal; Adam Kehr, Erica LiBritz, AIA, LEED AP and Sodam Ha, LEED AP ID+C have been named senior associates; and Patricia Duval and Chika Yamada, AIA have been named associates of the firm.
“These professionals represent an evolving generation of leadership in architecture and interiors for CetraRuddy, and their passionate dedication and combined experience underscores the value we add for all our clients,” said Nancy J. Ruddy, co-founding principal at CetraRuddy. “We are proud to recognize the important roles that each of them play both within the firm, and within our professional community.”
These promotions acknowledge the six practitioners as emerging leaders within the firm, who embody CetraRuddy’s core values, encourage team building, actively mentor others in their areas of expertise, and demonstrate a consistent ability to collaborate with clients and ensure successful project design and delivery.
Thomas Graul, AIA
Tom Graul joined CetraRuddy in 2014, and oversees quality assessment for the firm’s construction and coordination processes. With over 30 years of experience working at varying scales of complexity and size, he distinguishes himself as an expert technical director, helping to develop and translate innovative designs into reality. His skill ensures that all of CetraRuddy’s projects reflect a combination of technical excellence and constructability, and remain consistent with building codes and the firm’s commitment to sustainability. Within the firm, he is well respected for his ability to continually refine and improve design and development processes, and he serves as an unmatched resource for all design teams. In his new role as associate principal at CetraRuddy, Tom joins the 12-member Executive Committee, which provides leadership and strategic direction for the 100-plus-person firm.
Since joining the firm in 2012, Adam has become a core member of the CetraRuddy design and management teams. Named an associate in 2015, his hospitality and residential-sector work demonstrates a deep experience in and knowledge of the field. He has a proven track record of consistently managing complex project teams, and brings a creative design sensibility to all of his projects. In his time at CetraRuddy, Adam has played key roles in major projects across the globe, including the Galleria Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and throughout the United States, like the recently completed and award-winning Saltmeadow residential development in Far Rockaway, New York. Currently, Adam is overseeing the design of new restaurants in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards and Midtown neighborhoods, and the adaptive reuse of 540 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey, CetraRuddy’s third residential conversion of 1920’s-era landmark buildings originally designed by noted architect Ralph Walker.
Erica LiBritz, AIA, LEED AP
With over 10 years of experience in the field, Erica is an accomplished project manager with a focus on complex multifamily residential developments. Her added expertise in zoning analysis has been vital in winning project approvals through the ULURP process, Community Boards and the City Planning Commission. Noted for her ability to interface and coordinate with clients, consultants, contractors and other project team members, Erica is respected within the industry and among her peers. Since joining CetraRuddy in 2013 and becoming an associate in 2015, Erica has been instrumental in project delivery for large-scale multifamily residential developments, including the successful rezoning approval of a 720-unit apartment tower in Brooklyn, and the completion of 535W43, a 200,000-square-feet, 298-unit, two-building residential complex in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. She is currently managing 45 Broad Street, an 1,100-foot-high tower under construction in Manhattan’s Financial District.
Sodam Ha, LEED AP ID+C
Since joining CetraRuddy in 2007 and being named an associate in 2015, Sodam has emerged as one of the firm’s leading interior designers. Utilizing her dual degree in Interior Design and Architecture, Sodam works closely with interior design and architectural teams to visualize and enhance connections between the exterior and interior features of a project, essential to CetraRuddy’s integrated approach. With a specialization in residential and hospitality projects, Sodam develops solutions that utilize innovative materials and sustainable approaches in order to strengthen design integrity. Reflecting her impact on Manhattan’s leading properties, notable work includes interiors for 135 W 52nd, the residential conversion of a 47-story former hotel; River & Warren, a 192-unit luxury condominium community; and 200 East 59th Street, a 152,000-square-foot, 35-story mixed-use multifamily residential tower currently nearing completion. Her current work in Manhattan also includes interior design for a complex lifestyle residential project on the city’s west side and a new restaurant in its midtown neighborhood.
A gifted interior designer with 15 years of experience, Patricia brings a global perspective to her work, pushing the boundaries of design to create environments that inspire. Her background and expertise includes an extensive portfolio of corporate interior design work. At CetraRuddy, Patricia has served as the senior interior designer for a number of significant projects, including a new 15,000-square-foot workplace for brokerage firm The Corcoran Group, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and Oskar, a 118-unit, 118,000-square-foot luxury apartment building in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. In addition, Patricia oversaw the design and completion of CetraRuddy’s new office space in Manhattan, following the firm’s relocation from SoHo to the Financial District. She is currently working on a number of large-scale commercial and residential projects.
Chika Yamada, AIA
An accomplished project manager with more than 15 years in the field, Chika Yamada has a reputation for successfully leading highly complex, large-scale projects. Across all her work, she brings a commitment to systems integration, project constructability, technical excellence, and attention to design detail. Her experience taking a project through all phases -- from zoning to planning and construction detailing -- affords her the ability to integrate complicated design elements into coherent and rational solutions. Since joining the CetraRuddy, Chika has overseen the initial development of a mixed-use hotel, convention center and residential project in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development. She is currently managing a highly complex lifestyle multifamily residential project on Manhattan’s west side.